Start with Why
Why do you do what you do? Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why. It was their natural ability to start with why that enabled them to inspire those around them and to achieve remarkable things. In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way -- and it's the complete opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be lead, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY. Any organization can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly articulate why. WHY is not money or profit-- those are always results. WHY does your organization exist? WHY does it do the things it does? WHY do customers really buy from one company or another? WHY are people loyal to some leaders, but not others? Starting with WHY works in big business and small business, in the nonprofit world and in politics. Those who start with WHY never manipulate, they inspire. And the people who follow them don't do so because they have to; they follow because they want to. Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or who wants to find someone to inspire them.

Start with Why Details

TitleStart with Why
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 29th, 2009
PublisherPortfolio
ISBN-139781591842804
Rating
GenreBusiness, Leadership, Nonfiction, Self Help, Personal Development, Management

Start with Why Review

  • Sean Gibson
    January 1, 1970
    Me: “I’ll take ‘Books That Should Have Been Long Articles or Essays Instead of Books’ for $500, please, Alex.”Alex Trebek: “This book takes hundreds of pages, including at least 4,398 references to how great Apple is, to make a fairly simple (albeit important) point, and was likely written by someone from the Department of Redundancy Department.”Me: “What is ‘Start With Why’?”The idea at the core of this book—that successful companies can clearly articulate WHY they are in business (beyond makin Me: “I’ll take ‘Books That Should Have Been Long Articles or Essays Instead of Books’ for $500, please, Alex.”Alex Trebek: “This book takes hundreds of pages, including at least 4,398 references to how great Apple is, to make a fairly simple (albeit important) point, and was likely written by someone from the Department of Redundancy Department.”Me: “What is ‘Start With Why’?”The idea at the core of this book—that successful companies can clearly articulate WHY they are in business (beyond making profit) rather than just being able to describe WHAT they do and HOW they do it—is a compelling one. It’s helped me think about how my team operates in the context of our firm, and how our firm defines its own value proposition.But, I don’t think I needed 250+ pages to get me to that point. 25 probably would have been sufficient.Contrary to popular belief, my time is valuable, people! It’s not just going to waste itself, you know.
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  • Andy
    January 1, 1970
    Great TED Talk, but not enough to carry a book. The author utters the same platitudes over and over. The main concept is that persuasive argument starts with connection, then emotions, then facts. This goes back to Aristotle and is nothing new. The plus-value here would come from present real world illustrations, but this is where he trips himself up in self-contradictions. For example, Apple Inc. is great because they are so original, i.e. they don't just copy and refine, they truly "innovate." Great TED Talk, but not enough to carry a book. The author utters the same platitudes over and over. The main concept is that persuasive argument starts with connection, then emotions, then facts. This goes back to Aristotle and is nothing new. The plus-value here would come from present real world illustrations, but this is where he trips himself up in self-contradictions. For example, Apple Inc. is great because they are so original, i.e. they don't just copy and refine, they truly "innovate." But Southwest Airlines totally copied and refined Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) including the name, the concept, even the stewardesses in the go-go boots, and PSA the true innovator is long gone while Southwest thrives. So the details of the "why" become circular reasoning: if you are successful then you must have started with why, where "starting with why" means doing whatever it is that makes organizations successful.
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  • Jesse Field
    January 1, 1970
    Stuart Sinek gave a really great TED Talk that summarizes the argument of this book: when we get caught up in the details of HOW and WHAT we are working on, it is very easy to forget WHY we are doing it. For example, at the turn of the 20th century, the Wright brothers were trying to build something that would fly with no support and very little money of their own. Meanwhile, Samuel Pierpont Langley was given full government subsidy to solve the problem of flight. But the Wright brothers got the Stuart Sinek gave a really great TED Talk that summarizes the argument of this book: when we get caught up in the details of HOW and WHAT we are working on, it is very easy to forget WHY we are doing it. For example, at the turn of the 20th century, the Wright brothers were trying to build something that would fly with no support and very little money of their own. Meanwhile, Samuel Pierpont Langley was given full government subsidy to solve the problem of flight. But the Wright brothers got their first and Langley didn't. How so? "They were pursuing the same goal, but only the Wright brothers were able to inspire those around them and truly lead their team to develop a technology that would change the world. Only the Wright brothers started with Why.""Why" here means not the motivating factors, but the "passion" to succeed, directed at some measurable activity. As A. mentioned, this is an argument a serial killer would use to get the idea that he was doing the right thing by being the best serial killer he could be (and damn the world for doubting his passions!). It is an amoral, ethics-free system for thinking about enterprise. Token mention of Martin Luther King aside, most examples in this book refer to the enterprise of coming up with products to sell: iPhones, TiVo, Harley-Davidson. It's as if all great tasks in life are things we sell each other, from motorcycles to social justice. That's a profound thought, and not one I can either accept or deny at the moment. Is spreading justice a matter of salesmanship? As a teacher I respond immediately with "yes," but as a researcher and a devoted reader I remember, out at the edge of my mind, that there is something to life besides sales. There's something else, a need to connect with others, a drive to help, to add to the world, that isn't covered here. The style of the book is short, blockish sentences. Clearly it is written so that even people with short attention spans will be engrossed. This works better in speech than in print. Overall, I'd say the TED talk is a far more successful product than the book.
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  • Avolyn Fisher
    January 1, 1970
    I am only on page 90 and this book is driving me nuts. I usually don't review a book or make a comment before I have finished reading it but I have to get this off of my chest so I can power through the rest. First of all, I agree 100% with Sinek in that a company has to have an established vision and mission in which the company culture hinges upon with a unified purpose. I believe that it is important to hold yourself and your company to an ethical standard. However, beyond that I think Sinek I am only on page 90 and this book is driving me nuts. I usually don't review a book or make a comment before I have finished reading it but I have to get this off of my chest so I can power through the rest. First of all, I agree 100% with Sinek in that a company has to have an established vision and mission in which the company culture hinges upon with a unified purpose. I believe that it is important to hold yourself and your company to an ethical standard. However, beyond that I think Sinek was a little misguided in weaving together the fabric of his theory. First of all, his examples seemed a little far fetched, he mentions countless successful companies and individuals and says that they succeeded because of his theory without presenting any substantial examples or evidence to make the connection between them and his theory. It's as if he said "These people were successful because they were able to get off of the couch and do it. You can't be successful without getting started" - ok that isn't what Sinek says but the concept and theory of his book is so vague and loosely tied together that it feels like a similar sentiment.Second of all, business is not emotional. Yes, if I worked at a children's hospital or if I managed an animal rescue it might be a different case, but in many professional settings our emotions have to be checked at the door. And even at a children's hospital or an animal rescue I feel you would have to check your emotions when it came to working with others. Sinek mentions that you shouldn't work with people you don't like and for many of us, the reality is that we will encounter people we don't like. We will encounter people who have different beliefs than us. That doesn't mean we can't work together and be successful and I would argue that the ability to get along and work with others who have different cultural backgrounds and beliefs than you, is key to being successful and being a leader at work. Even his comments about moving to another city were driving me crazy. I moved from Des Moines, IA to California last year and I can tell you that people who live in different cities and states are more alike than we think and I don't think it's simply because we're "American" and we fit into "American Culture" I feel that it's because most people are good, want to do good, and are good at heart. The people who are bad or don't have the best interest of others at heart are few and far between and I have learned that if you believe in the good of others and make a conscious effort to be a positive person and a positive force, you can get along with almost anyone. It's not a "cultural" thing, it's a "respect" thing.We will see if I can power through the rest of this book ---- I'd probably have abandoned this one if I weren't reading it for a book club at my office.----- update --------Yup, couldn't do it. Life is too short, abandoned this one.
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  • Loy Machedo
    January 1, 1970
    Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Start With Why by Simon SinekTED Talks is an incredible platform for someone to either make it or break it. And in the case of Simon Sinek, the 5 Million plus views he received on his talk not only must have catapulted him to the ‘Management Guru’ status, it also ensured his book became a New York Time Best Seller.But here let me surprise you – The book is Great and then the Author & Book Publisher Mess it up badly.Lets start with the fundamentals.What made Simon Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Start With Why by Simon SinekTED Talks is an incredible platform for someone to either make it or break it. And in the case of Simon Sinek, the 5 Million plus views he received on his talk not only must have catapulted him to the ‘Management Guru’ status, it also ensured his book became a New York Time Best Seller.But here let me surprise you – The book is Great and then the Author & Book Publisher Mess it up badly.Lets start with the fundamentals.What made Simon Sinek famous?It was his 20 minute TED Talk.And obviously, for those who have spoken on the TED Talks stage, you are not allowed to speak beyond your allotted time. Tony Robbins was the only exception to this rule as he very intelligently saved the best story for the last – and then got his extra few minutes of fame.So in the case of Simon, in those amazing 20 minutes, he not only impressed the audience with the simplicity and powerful message, he created a fan follower. The examples were of Apple, The Wright Brothers and Martin Luther King were used.I became his instant fan after the video and that is why I was desperately waiting to get my hands on the book.Now the book goes down the same path with a few more examples – Sam Walton of Walmart, Herb Kellerman of SouthWest Airlines and Bill Gates of Microsoft. But this is where he goofs it up. He repeats the same examples and phrase “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it” so many times, you become sick of it. For instance, if he would pay you a dollar for every time he repeated that phrase, I think you could buy yourself 3 copies of the same book.I remembered the overly used example (I think it was a Chicken Soup for the Soul – please correct me if you do find the right reference) – The example where a Priest roused the congregation to donate money for the new building. The author immediately took out a dollar from his pocket – which was quite a lot for those days. And as he held on to that dollar waiting for the collectors to come and collect the money, the priest went on bombarding the audience with his oratory. And he went on so long, that finally, when the collectors came, he had irritated the audience so much, the author in anger, took out money from the collectors box instead of putting the money in.This is exactly the effect Simon Sinek had on me. He irritated the bananas out of my head.So overall, what would I say?Simon’s book is a Good book with a Great Sugary Concept. However, too much of Sugar is bad for taste and health. So, if you can bear an overdose of sugar for once in your life, go ahead and buy this book. However, if you just want a gist of the book, watch his TED Talks video. That’s about it.Overall Rating10 out of 10 if he didn’t repeat himself so madly.7 out of 10 because of his continuous blabber, fluff and unwanted number of extra words.Loy Machedoloymachedo.com
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  • Jeff
    January 1, 1970
    Simon Sinek presents a compelling vision of how companies, organizations, and individuals can achieve success. His simple message? Start with why. Which is to say the guiding principle of our endeavors should be based not on what we do or how we do it, but rather on why we do it. According to Sinek, those agencies that can effectively articulate their "why" (or purpose) are most likely to develop loyal followers and long term success.Sounds great Jeff, so why just two stars? Well, there's a num Simon Sinek presents a compelling vision of how companies, organizations, and individuals can achieve success. His simple message? Start with why. Which is to say the guiding principle of our endeavors should be based not on what we do or how we do it, but rather on why we do it. According to Sinek, those agencies that can effectively articulate their "why" (or purpose) are most likely to develop loyal followers and long term success.Sounds great Jeff, so why just two stars? Well, there's a number of reasons. First, the redundancy of Sinek's message played a role. I'm not sure I got much more out of the book than I'd gotten previously from his 18:00 minute TEDtalk. Second, Sinek overreaches a bit when he tries to connect his Golden Circle to both our brain structure and the Golden Ratio. I understand the intent ("See? This is universal! This is big picture stuff! The fabric of the universe!") I just find these connections suspect at best and specious at worst. Finally, the evidence Sinek presents is all very anecdotal. Sinek provides maybe a dozen or so examples (from Henry V to MLK Jr to Apple), but really just focuses on a few cases that neatly fit the narrative of success he's constructed. And that narrative? Well as Andy points out in his review (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...), it's all a bit circular. Apple is successful because they start with why. How can we tell they start with why? Simple, it's because they're successful!Addendum: Here's a link to Sinek's TEDtalk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6kbcE.... And in fairness there were a few other nuggets in the book worth considering. I appreciated the discussion concerning the idea that "What gets measured gets done". I also thought the distinction between achievement and success was helpful.
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  • ScienceOfSuccess
    January 1, 1970
    TL;DR The author wants us to communicate from the inside of the golden circle, not from the outside of it. He believes that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. "People don’t do business with everyone who has what they need. They do business with people who believe in the same thing they believe in."more @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Eui...
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  • Henry Manampiring
    January 1, 1970
    DON'T WASTE TIME READING THIS. WATCH THE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE INSTEAD. I was lured by this book because of Sinek's TED video. Great video and idea, and I should have stopped there. I feel that the book can be cut by 75% without losing its message. What's really annoying is the overuse of Apple as a example. Like, really? There are other examples in the book, the massive use of Apple story is just irritating. Borrow the book and skim through it. But it is not worth buying. Watch the TED video for fre DON'T WASTE TIME READING THIS. WATCH THE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE INSTEAD. I was lured by this book because of Sinek's TED video. Great video and idea, and I should have stopped there. I feel that the book can be cut by 75% without losing its message. What's really annoying is the overuse of Apple as a example. Like, really? There are other examples in the book, the massive use of Apple story is just irritating. Borrow the book and skim through it. But it is not worth buying. Watch the TED video for free instead.
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  • Lili Manolache
    January 1, 1970
    Simon Sinek describes in his book "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" how leaders and companies should work as a series of circles, i.e. "The Golden Circle" - the why, how, and what. This idea explains why organizations and leaders inspire the others. Everybody knows what they do, some know how they do it, very few people know why they do what they do. The way we communicate, think and act is very easy: we go from the clear things we know to the more fuzzy ones. T Simon Sinek describes in his book "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" how leaders and companies should work as a series of circles, i.e. "The Golden Circle" - the why, how, and what. This idea explains why organizations and leaders inspire the others. Everybody knows what they do, some know how they do it, very few people know why they do what they do. The way we communicate, think and act is very easy: we go from the clear things we know to the more fuzzy ones. The WHY theory gives us the ability to communicate why we are doing certain things, helps entrepreneurs take better decisions, as well as individuals in the every day life.All in all, the most important fact Simon Sinek is trying to point out is that the way something is communicated must be believed in, explained, and people accept it for themselves, because THEY believe in it. It is a very inspiring, enlightening and insightful book that I would recommend to anyone!
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  • Jason Boling
    January 1, 1970
    Using selective facts or analogies to suit an assertion, gratuitous statements often contradicting other assertions, and selective use of parts of a bigger story while conveniently overlooking others in the same context are among the reasons why I found this book to be of no value in leadership development. The author works backwards in that he has a belief in his view of what makes great leaders and selects biased or incomplete data or uses unsubstantiated hyperbole to set about making the case Using selective facts or analogies to suit an assertion, gratuitous statements often contradicting other assertions, and selective use of parts of a bigger story while conveniently overlooking others in the same context are among the reasons why I found this book to be of no value in leadership development. The author works backwards in that he has a belief in his view of what makes great leaders and selects biased or incomplete data or uses unsubstantiated hyperbole to set about making the case for that view. It is easy and academically lazy to decide what you believe and then to set about finding examples of supporting evidence while simultaneously omitting examples of things from those same sources which would contradict the view you are attempting to convince the reader is valuable. The only real benefit I can see to this book is seeing how using management speak and lazy manipulation of data can let one manager or business person sell to another. For the rest of us who are the actual customers of the companies the author uses as examples, this is at best detached and at worst condescending popular psychology without the merit of peer review. Your money is better spent reading "You Are Not So Smart." Even the editing is poor. For example, the last time I checked, data was plural and the author refers often to "the data" as if it is singular. It is, start to finish, lazy hyperbole and more of the same fist bumping "you're number one baby" so called "leadership" slang that business people often spout to one another to convince themselves how masterful they are at understanding the customer and what it is they need to hear. This is almost surrealistic in its similarity to "The Emperor Has No Clothes." How can anyone buy in to this meaningless chatter?
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  • Maggie
    January 1, 1970
    This book was alright, for non-fiction, I guess. It’s hard for me to gauge, given my intense loathing for non-fiction books. They’re so unenjoyable.Sinek writes decently enough, and I totally buy what he’s dishing out, but I gotta say, by the 9th time he uses Apple or Southwest (or etc.) as an illustrative example, I’m a bit “I get it already!” It seems a bit...convenient.He also contends that finding the WHY is not the hard part - it’s sticking to your WHY that’s difficult. If this is so true…w This book was alright, for non-fiction, I guess. It’s hard for me to gauge, given my intense loathing for non-fiction books. They’re so unenjoyable.Sinek writes decently enough, and I totally buy what he’s dishing out, but I gotta say, by the 9th time he uses Apple or Southwest (or etc.) as an illustrative example, I’m a bit “I get it already!” It seems a bit...convenient.He also contends that finding the WHY is not the hard part - it’s sticking to your WHY that’s difficult. If this is so true…why does he spend like 4 pages about how to find your personal WHY and the rest of the book trying to sell in the importance of it??I mean, I totally bought it and then floundered at finding my personal WHY. “Look at your past” he says. Ok…I would’ve found the book more helpful if it was skewed the other way: 97% devoted to identifying your personal WHY. Like with practical questionnaires and thought-starters and exercises, filters for testing whether it’s a good/real WHY…really practical shit to help me find my WHY. Maybe he’s planning a follow up WHY book…!?
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  • William Aicher
    January 1, 1970
    I get the message and agree that "why?" is probably the most important question any leader should be asking... and answering. The book was inspiring, to be sure. But it also felt full of speculation as to why certain companies succeed and others don't. It wasn't that what Sinek says is wrong, but it's based upon a lot of assumptions and relationships why little empirical evidence. Carefully chosen examples that tend to confirm his theory, but still anecdotal at best.
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    Start with Why is one of my all time favorite Ted Talks. This book is a longer version of the same concept. For the first few chapters, I did not feel that I was really getting any new information. However, the latter portion of the book went in to more specific examples of how great leaders have changed the face of their companies by focusing on Why.
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  • Experience Life
    January 1, 1970
    We are easily caught up in the details of what we want to do, and how we are going to get it all done. Communications expert Simon Sinek argues that we’d be far better off if we more regularly focused on why we’re investing all that effort and activity in the first place. It’s the WHY, after all, that inspires action, that galvanizes people and keeps them going when the going gets tough. Embodying our WHYs and effectively communicating them to anyone who will listen, asserts Sinek, is crucial to We are easily caught up in the details of what we want to do, and how we are going to get it all done. Communications expert Simon Sinek argues that we’d be far better off if we more regularly focused on why we’re investing all that effort and activity in the first place. It’s the WHY, after all, that inspires action, that galvanizes people and keeps them going when the going gets tough. Embodying our WHYs and effectively communicating them to anyone who will listen, asserts Sinek, is crucial to both personal and business success. “People don’t buy WHAT you do,” Sinek explains. “They buy WHY you do it.” Sinek underscores his argument with profiles of leaders and companies that have won employee, partner and customer loyalty by operating according to a pattern he calls The Golden Circle (picture a simple target with a bulls-eye of WHY, surrounded by a center ring of HOW and an outer ring of WHAT). He explains how each of us can achieve greater success and satisfaction by inspiring others through a shared sense of purpose — as opposed to more commonly used tactics of coercion and manipulation. “If you follow your WHY,” writes Sinek, “others will follow you.” It’s a refreshing redefinition of what constitutes true leadership, and a great tool for re-infusing your own work with purpose-centered passion.
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  • Malleswari
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the best books I read in my list. Simon Sinek, the author of the book, narrated very clear how great leaders started with WHY and inspired people. The best part of this book is 'The Golden Circle', which has three layers of WHY at the core, followed by 'HOW', followed by 'WHAT', and which is very much similar to the biological arrangement of human brain of limbic and neocortex. If we have the clarity of WHY we do, know the HOW we can do and maintain consistency of that WHAT we do, This is one of the best books I read in my list. Simon Sinek, the author of the book, narrated very clear how great leaders started with WHY and inspired people. The best part of this book is 'The Golden Circle', which has three layers of WHY at the core, followed by 'HOW', followed by 'WHAT', and which is very much similar to the biological arrangement of human brain of limbic and neocortex. If we have the clarity of WHY we do, know the HOW we can do and maintain consistency of that WHAT we do, that's enough to be successful in any work we do. Examples of great companies, like Apple, SouthWest Airlines, Walmart, Harley Davidson, Microsoft, and people like Wright brothers, Dr.Martin Luther King inspires the way they changed the world. They succeeded because they were crystal clear of WHY they do things and people who know HOW to do had followed them.I agree with the author's point of Manipulations and energy will bring the customers but that will no longer work. Instead, Inspirations and Charisma will have longer impact, when people believes what we believe they will be with us for long time.Finally, I learnt, before start doing anything, just to think WHY to do that, then HOW and then WHAT.!!!
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  • Karen ⊰✿
    January 1, 1970
    Having read Leaders Eat Last, and watching and following everything Sinek does, I thought it was about time to go back to his original book.With a basis in anthropology, but a strategic marketing mind and experience, Sinek has created a great argument for why "people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it". Work out your own personal "why" and you will be successful provided you stay true to that "why" AND make sure others in your organisation also understand and believe in that "why".Thi Having read Leaders Eat Last, and watching and following everything Sinek does, I thought it was about time to go back to his original book.With a basis in anthropology, but a strategic marketing mind and experience, Sinek has created a great argument for why "people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it". Work out your own personal "why" and you will be successful provided you stay true to that "why" AND make sure others in your organisation also understand and believe in that "why".This definitely had me thinking as when I talk to potential clients, and even my website, I follow what most people do and provide “what" I do and give features and benefits. I've started to really think about what is my why and how I can communicate that effectively, use it as a basis for what I do (and update my marketing material and website!).A fantastic book for any leader or business owner who wants to truly understand how to inspire others.
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  • Chad Warner
    January 1, 1970
    This book explains that people buy from a company because they believe in its values, not because of the quality of its products or services. In Sinek’s words, “People don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” Customers and employees want to be part of a higher cause (your WHY), so you need to share yours and show how your products or service advance that cause. If you watch TED Talks, you’ve probably seen Sinek’s 2009 talk, How great leaders inspire action, which this book expands on.Acco This book explains that people buy from a company because they believe in its values, not because of the quality of its products or services. In Sinek’s words, “People don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” Customers and employees want to be part of a higher cause (your WHY), so you need to share yours and show how your products or service advance that cause. If you watch TED Talks, you’ve probably seen Sinek’s 2009 talk, How great leaders inspire action, which this book expands on.According to Sinek, your WHY is your belief. HOWs are the actions you take to realize that belief. WHATs are the results of those actions (what you say and do, your products, services, marketing, culture, etc.).The book includes worthwhile insights into defining your vision, mission, and marketing. Unfortunately, it’s 2-3 times longer than it needs to be to make its points.Below are my notes.CustomersManipulation drives transactions, but not loyal, lasting relationships. That requires inspiration. Manipulations include price drops, promotion, fear-based or aspirational messages, or novelty. Inspiration is the cause represented by the company."A simple claim of better, even with the rational evidence to back it up, can create desire and even motivate a decision to buy, but it doesn't create loyalty.”You can’t differentiate based on your HOW and WHAT (product, service, price, etc.). You must differentiate based on WHY and HOW.Many companies try to prove their value without saying WHY they exist in the first place.When selling, share your WHY first, then your WHAT. The WHY (belief) drives the decision, and the WHAT (features and benefits) serve as tangible proof of they WHY, providing a way to rationalize.EmployeesCustomers and employees want to be part of a higher cause (your WHY).Companies with a strong sense of WHY inspire their employees, who are more productive and innovative."Average companies give their people something to work on. … Innovative organizations give their people something to work toward.”Company leadership"Companies with a clear sense of WHY tend to ignore their competition, whereas those of a fuzzy sense of WHY are obsessed with what others are doing.”Most successful entrepreneurs are HOW-types. Most love to build things, not envision them (as WHY-types do).Sinek's recommended booksthe works of Ken Blanchard, of Tom Friedman and of Seth GodinThe Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham Good to Great by Jim Collins The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi E-Myth by Michael Gerber The Tipping Point and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell Chaos by James Gleick Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D. The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner FISH! By Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul, John Christensen and Ken Blanchard The Naked Brain by Richard Restack Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki The Black Swan by Nicholas Taleb American Mania by Peter Whybrow, M.D. and the single most important book everyone should read, Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel
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  • Chad Kettner
    January 1, 1970
    Simon Sinek offers a life-altering and business-changing message: "Start with Why". Why do you do what you do? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should people care?The golden circle - the "why, how, and what" - is grounded in biology. If you were to look at a cross-section of the brain from the top, you’d see that it corresponds perfectly.Starting at the top, our ‘newest’ brain, our homo-sapien brain (also called our neocortex) is our “what” and is responsible for all our rationa Simon Sinek offers a life-altering and business-changing message: "Start with Why". Why do you do what you do? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should people care?The golden circle - the "why, how, and what" - is grounded in biology. If you were to look at a cross-section of the brain from the top, you’d see that it corresponds perfectly.Starting at the top, our ‘newest’ brain, our homo-sapien brain (also called our neocortex) is our “what” and is responsible for all our rational, analytical thought and language. The middle two sections make up our limbic brains – which is for feelings, trust, and loyalty; and it’s also responsible for human behavior and decision-making, though it has no capacity for language.In other words, when we communicate from the outside-in, people can understand vast amounts of complicated information, features and benefits, and facts and figures… it just doesn’t drive behavior. This is where gut decisions come from – it’s the reason you can give someone all the facts and figures and they’ll say that they understand it all, but it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right. That ‘feeling’ happens in your limbic brain.If you don’t know why you do what you do, then how will you ever get someone else to buy into it and be loyal, or want to be a part of what it is that you do? The goal isn’t just to get people to buy that need what you have, but to believe what you believe.People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. If you talk about your beliefs, you will attract others with the same or similar beliefs.Sinek shares several powerful examples, as well as a few other important concepts to really drive the point home. And while this is one of the most powerful, practical messages I've read in a while, my one complaint is that the book faces the same challenge that a lot of other business books seem to have... in that it's a great idea with powerful concepts, but it becomes unnecessarily repetitive beyond 100 pages.I'd recommend listening to Sinek's TED talk first:http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_...And I'd still recommend buying the book to drive the points home with a bit more depth. But just realize that it does become repetitive.
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  • Annemieke Windt
    January 1, 1970
    In his book Start with Why Simon Sinek makes a case for companies to have a clear Why as the underlying principle for doing business. Using the Wright Brothers, Martin Luther King and Apple as primary examples Sinek states that companies that are clear about why they are in business have a better chance of loyality from costumers, even when the company experiences setbacks.Sinek claims that companies that only have What they make and How they make it at the heart of their business will suffer di In his book Start with Why Simon Sinek makes a case for companies to have a clear Why as the underlying principle for doing business. Using the Wright Brothers, Martin Luther King and Apple as primary examples Sinek states that companies that are clear about why they are in business have a better chance of loyality from costumers, even when the company experiences setbacks.Sinek claims that companies that only have What they make and How they make it at the heart of their business will suffer disloyality from costumers and employees and that will in the long run harm their chances of survival. Sinek uses the image of the Golden Circle, with the Why at the heart and the How and the What as the outer circles.While I believe Sinek certainly has a point, I was a bit dissatisfied with the book. Partly because he kept repeating the Apple example and partly because what would you need to do if you work somewhere and you clearly see that your company lacks a Why. I saw the TED talk when I still had about twenty pages to read and mainly, if you watch the 17 minute clip you don't really need to read the book. Which is a pity, because with other examples and a chapter on how to implement a Why in existing companies the book would have been a lot better. Now, it felt that there wasn't a real conclusion and nothing really to built on.
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  • Ricardo Sueiras
    January 1, 1970
    I got this book via a recommendation from a friend, so I was probably one of the few that had not seen the TED talk which contains much of the information within this book.I was interested in this book as I thought it would provide some useful insights and background into helping understand the critical success factors into driving change. I am pretty passionate about a lot of tech stuff, and looked at this book as perhaps revealing how others translate passion into action, and how these compare I got this book via a recommendation from a friend, so I was probably one of the few that had not seen the TED talk which contains much of the information within this book.I was interested in this book as I thought it would provide some useful insights and background into helping understand the critical success factors into driving change. I am pretty passionate about a lot of tech stuff, and looked at this book as perhaps revealing how others translate passion into action, and how these compare to my own methods.The book overall is very good, but at times you can get weary of the same examples being used and re-used (i.e. Apple/Jobs) and I could not help wondering if other case studies could have been researched. To this extent, the repetitive nature of the content might bother some more than others, and whilst I did find myself waiting for something else, nothing materialised.What I took away from this book were some useful tools and methods to understand how you can used passion and meaning to do stuff, and how to identify when this is effective and not. It provided some further good examples around authenticity and trust in the context of achieving goals that I will be applying in other areas of my work.I have still to see the TED talk, but feel that if I hear these case studies one more time I might scream.
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  • Fred Leland
    January 1, 1970
    This book was very well researched and written in a way that indeed gels with the Author Simon Sinek s "WHY" of inspiring others. The book is based on the premise of most people know what they do. Some know how to do WHAT they do. But very few know WHY they do what they do. Most think from what to how and then on to why. Simon Sinek submits...start with WHY and the how and what will come naturally. By WHY he means whats our purpose,and beliefs behind what we do? The book provides great examples This book was very well researched and written in a way that indeed gels with the Author Simon Sinek s "WHY" of inspiring others. The book is based on the premise of most people know what they do. Some know how to do WHAT they do. But very few know WHY they do what they do. Most think from what to how and then on to why. Simon Sinek submits...start with WHY and the how and what will come naturally. By WHY he means whats our purpose,and beliefs behind what we do? The book provides great examples from business, military and social movements where leaders identifies their Why and lived and breathed into their organizations and movements, with such enthusiasm that their organizations flourished and succeeded. The book offers comparisons and cases to learn from. He backs his theory "The Golden Circle" which is simply looking at things from the inside out starting with Why, then how and the effect they have on what you do. Very strongly argued with science in how the brain works and is effected by WHY.Inspiration and optimism are sometimes looked at in a Pollyanna way but Sinek in his book Start With WHY sees inspiration as the spark that lights the fire in any organization, any cause looking TO DO! I highly recommend this book.
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  • Mohit Pahuja
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewing a book before completing it isn't a great idea usually, but I completed only 30% of the book and it's just too much fluff. The idea is simple but explanations are redundant. Simon's Ted Talk was great but I don't think it's enough content for a book. He doesn't support his theories with enough evidence. Sometimes, I could think of the counter examples very easily. That made me doubt the author's credibility. And the concept of Golden Ratio that he introduced to give legitimacy to his c Reviewing a book before completing it isn't a great idea usually, but I completed only 30% of the book and it's just too much fluff. The idea is simple but explanations are redundant. Simon's Ted Talk was great but I don't think it's enough content for a book. He doesn't support his theories with enough evidence. Sometimes, I could think of the counter examples very easily. That made me doubt the author's credibility. And the concept of Golden Ratio that he introduced to give legitimacy to his concept of Golden Rule is outright stupid. Not worth a read. Just see his Ted Talk, it's great.
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  • Cigdem
    January 1, 1970
    This book was inspiring .... at the beginning. Then it turned into a mantra making me want to hear something different- a different company as an example, a different person, a different view on things. But each page dragged on about the same things and for a short book, this is not an overstatement. I obviously do not like repetition!
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  • Haggai
    January 1, 1970
    Simon Sinek takes a great 20 minute TED talk and belabors about it too long to be interesting. He is repetitive and dilutes his message to the point of boredom. Yet nothing can take away the basic good idea behind this book- I would suggest everyone watch his TED talk to get to know it.
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  • Laura Frey (Reading in Bed)
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting ideas, poorly presented, with 90% of examples being white men in tech. Try harder.
  • Imants
    January 1, 1970
    Good idea, but not worth the time - just read a summary.
  • Mariana Martins
    January 1, 1970
    "If the why is not clear on the inside, it will never be clear on the outside"Pros + Explains really well the thought process behind the golden circle (starting from the within with the why moving to how and then what);+ Presents ways where you can apply it in professional life, but also in personal life;+ Shows clear and inspiring examples of how "starting with the why" changed some paradigms (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Luther King) ;+ Reinforces that the visionaries (the why-thinkers) never walk "If the why is not clear on the inside, it will never be clear on the outside"Pros + Explains really well the thought process behind the golden circle (starting from the within with the why moving to how and then what);+ Presents ways where you can apply it in professional life, but also in personal life;+ Shows clear and inspiring examples of how "starting with the why" changed some paradigms (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Luther King) ;+ Reinforces that the visionaries (the why-thinkers) never walk alone.Cons - Sometimes the message is way too repetitive. - Watching the Tedx would be enough to catch the essential points of the golden circle and the author's message.- It focuses way too much on brands, and the information becomes redundant.Overall, if you have lost the "magic" within your company/organisation this should be a good read. It inspires action towards finding the purpose: what led you in the first place to start something.
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  • Yevgeniy Brikman
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book after having seen Simon Sinek's TED talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek.... It turns out, the TED talk is really all you need to watch. This book does little more than repeat that exact same message again and again. Don't get me wrong: that message is extraordinarily important. It's something I keep in mind every single day as I build my company, as I work on talks, when I write blog posts, and so on. The talk conveys 99.9% of everything you need to know about this messa I read this book after having seen Simon Sinek's TED talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek.... It turns out, the TED talk is really all you need to watch. This book does little more than repeat that exact same message again and again. Don't get me wrong: that message is extraordinarily important. It's something I keep in mind every single day as I build my company, as I work on talks, when I write blog posts, and so on. The talk conveys 99.9% of everything you need to know about this message in 20 minutes. The book tries to stretch it out across 250+ pages, and adds very little. As always, I've saved my favorite quotes from the book:"There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.""Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders—in that order.""Great companies don't hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them."
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  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    Simon Sinek’s smart book with essentially one idea: most brands and leaders tell us to buy or follow by talking about what and how, whereas the great ones start with why. So, for example, PC manufacturers tell us to buy their computers because of the features of the machine. But Steve Jobs’ Apple tells us that they are against conformity and in favor of cool designs that make life better. They make things like computers. Now, don’t you want to buy one (and join the revolution)? A subtle shift, b Simon Sinek’s smart book with essentially one idea: most brands and leaders tell us to buy or follow by talking about what and how, whereas the great ones start with why. So, for example, PC manufacturers tell us to buy their computers because of the features of the machine. But Steve Jobs’ Apple tells us that they are against conformity and in favor of cool designs that make life better. They make things like computers. Now, don’t you want to buy one (and join the revolution)? A subtle shift, but an important one. And a bestseller for Sinek.
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  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    There were many stories and companies we could identify with and learn from. They may not have the best role models for leaders but their leaders had a clear vision of their beliefs and I learned my own why and how that will guide my decisions and growth.
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